SOMOS Presents the 21st Annual 


Friday and Saturday, October 9-10, 2020

With Storytellers Gayle Ross, Pat McCabe, & Cisco Guevara. Produced by SOMOS.

Founded 21 years ago, The Taos Storytelling Festival has grown into one of the most exciting storytelling festivals in America. The stories you’ll hear will make you laugh, smile, cry, chuckle, wonder, slap your knees, giggle, and applaud. Sign up to tell your story at the Taos StorySLAM on Friday night or join us and tell your story at our Saturday afternoon Story Swap.

Make your plans now to attend the 21st annual Taos Storytelling Festival, October 9-10, 2020 in beautiful downtown Taos. View schedule→


2020 marks the twenty-first anniversary of the Taos Storytelling Festival, sponsored by SOMOS. The inaugural festival in 1999, held in a tent in Kit Carson Park over three days, has evolved to a two-day festival with the main event on Saturday evening at the Taos Center for the Arts; auxiliary programs take place at SOMOS, local bars, and other venues (including Mesa Brewing Company, Angladas Building, and nearby restaurants). The festival typically includes a StorySLAM (with first-, second-, and third-place winners—the first-place winner performing onstage at the TCA finale), a Story Swap (free and hosted by a member of Storytellers of New Mexico), a Children’s Concert (for children of all ages), Storytelling-in-the-Schools, and an adult storytelling workshop presented by the headliner storyteller. Over the years, some of our featured storytellers (who have come from all parts of the United States and the world) have included Bil Lepp, Joe Hayes, Carmen Agra Deedy, Dovie Thomason, Cisco Guevara, Sarah Malone, Liz Mangual, Bob Kanegis, Kevin Kling, Terry Allen, Jo Harvey Allen, Antonio Rocha, Jerry Faires, Kuniko Yamamoto, Elaine Muray, Laura Simms, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Andy Offutt Irwin, and Minton Sparks.

Gayle Ross
Gayle Ross is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and a direct descendant of John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee during the infamous “Trail of Tears.”  

During the past twenty-five years, Gayle has appeared at almost every significant storytelling festival, folk festival in the United States and Canada, as well as theaters and performance arts halls throughout the U.S. and Europe.  

From the kindergarten classroom to the college campus to the Kennedy Center, Gayle has enthralled audiences of all ages. Whether she is provoking laughter with a Trickster tale or moving her listeners to tears with a haunting myth, Gayle is truly a master of the age-old craft of storytelling.

Gayle has opened for such distinguished speakers as Maya Angelou, N. Scott Momaday, and Alice Walker, and she has appeared with such noted Native American artists as Rita Coolidge, Wes Studi, Kevin Locke, and John Trudell. Internationally acclaimed musician and composer Peter Buffet featured Gayle and her stories in his epic stage performance “500 Nations,” based on the CBS mini-series produced by Kevin Costner.

Gayle also produced and directed an all-Native show entitled “Full Circle,” which featured the Grammy award-winning Mohegan musician Bill Miller, as well as the singing and dancing of Rob Greyhill, Jennifer Meness, and the Great American Indian Dance Theater. National Public Radio has aired her stories on such programs as “Living on the Earth” and “Mountain Stages.”

As the author of five critically acclaimed children’s books, Gayle has spoken at the American Library Association, the International Reading Association and the International Board of Books for Young People. She was recently featured in the ground-breaking American Experience series “We Shall Remain” in the “The Trail of Tears” episode. 

Woman Stands Shining (Pat McCabe)

Pat McCabe (Weyakpa Najin Win, Woman Stands Shining) is a Diné (Navajo) mother, grandmother, activist, artist, writer, ceremonial leader, and international speaker. She is a voice for global peace, and her paintings are created as tools for individual, earth and global healing. She draws upon the Indigenous sciences of Thriving Life to reframe questions about sustainability and balance, and she is devoted to supporting the next generations, Women’s Nation and Men’s Nation, in being functional members of the “Hoop of Life” and upholding the honor of being human.

Her primary work at the moment is:

• The reconciliation between the masculine and feminine, Men’s Nation and Women’s Nation

• Remembering, recreating or creating anew a narrative for the Sacred Masculine

• Addressing the Archetypal Wounding that occurred in our misunderstanding and abuse of technology in prayer, ceremony and science

Cisco Guevara
Local storytelling legend, owner of Los Rios River Runners, and multigenerational New Mexican Francisco “Cisco” Guevara will be back with us for his fifteenth appearance on the Taos Storytelling Festival stage. Cisco draws his outrageously true stories from his Hispanic and Indian heritage, and from his dynamic experiences as a river guide over the last quarter century. Some say he understands the language of the beaver, the mountain lion, and the famous dipper bird, which walks underwater. Cisco can also tell you which trails renegade bandits followed in 1897. Journey with Cisco on Saturday night down the wild rivers of his storied life.





Thank you to the following sponsors of the 21st Taos Storytelling Festival, 10/09/20 – 10/10/20!












Lucy & Dirk Herrman
Welcome Lindsey, Editor
Nancy Jenkins



Gayle Ross

Pat McCabe

Cisco Guevara

Open Tues-Sat  12pm-4pm  575.758.0081  108 Civic Plaza Drive

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 3225, Taos, NM 87571


SOMOS programs are made possible in part by these organizations: New Mexico Arts • Taos Community Foundation • The McCune Foundation • The National Endowment For The Arts • The Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation • The Peter And Madeleine Martin Foundation for the Arts • The Santa Fe Community Foundation • Taos County Lodgers Tax • The Richard B. Siegel Foundation • TaosNetLLC for high speed internet service  • LANL (Los Alamos National Labs)  • New Mexico Humanities Council

Young boy listening while a woman speaks to a group at SOMOS